It’s going to be a very busy day today, and that’s assuming nothing breaks. Which it might. Because it’s July 20. Strap in.
- Your Jake Arrieta awesomeness check-in: 3.7 WAR, tied for 6th in baseball. His 2.52 ERA is 13th, his 2.52 FIP is 6th, and his 2.67 xFIP is 5th. You wish you were as good as Jake Arrieta.
- When will Kyle Schwarber be able to catch Arrieta? Joe Maddon had a very interesting answer to CSN: “As Schwarber gets more comfortable, if the matchup is impressively bad and you’re more comfortable with Schwarber behind the plate, then you catch him with Arrieta.” In other words, give Schwarber a little time to keep improving in his receiving (again: catching Jake Arrieta’s nasty curve, nasty slutter, and huge velocity is not easy), and then maybe when the Cubs happen to be facing a righty who is brutal on other righties (but weak against lefties), you might see it. Also, I know it’s convenient hindsight that might not prove anything, but it’s hard to argue with David Ross catching Arrieta yesterday given how dominant he was.
- This week, though, we should probably see a lot of Schwarber. The Reds will start a righty on each of Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (at least one of the games on Wednesday), and the Cubs will be going with starters who aren’t Arrieta or Jon Lester.
- It feels like Kris Bryant has been in something of a mini-slump for a while (the nice thing about Bryant is that, even when he slumps, he’s still walking nearly 15% of the time), and Scott Lindholm takes a really interesting look at the possible reasons over at BP Wrigleyville. It all starts with pitchers hammering him with the low strike (and low “strikes”).
- Joe Maddon is having Addison Russell, 21, read Stephen King’s “11/22/63” to help keep his mind off of baseball, and is frequently grilling the youngster about the plot (CSN).
- Edwin Jackson will be DFA’d today to make room for Rafael Soriano. Kind words for Jackson from his teammates and manager, and reaction from Jackson (CSN, Cubs.com).
- Jorge Soler is among the hardest ball-strikers in baseball.
- If you missed anything else from the weekend, catch up here. If you missed any minor league action, catch up here.
- Looking good, generous folks!
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 20, 2015